|Dimensions||12.5 × .8 × 12.5 cm|
Review of ‘Cockroach and Other Stories’ by KAZBAND
The Klezmer influence continues to spread its wings broadly in Australia and the blend between Klezmer and Balkan/Orientale is being taken up by what appears to be an increasing number of young bands. ‘Transcultural’ is what defines this blend. It’s a special reflection of Australiana when the Anglo and Celt mainstream meets the music of ethnic immigrants and neatly sidesteps the issues raised by the catch all categories ‘World’ and ‘Multicultural’ which I have come to dislike with a passion. KAZBAND has done a great job in putting together an extremely competent album which demonstrates this reflection perfectly well. This band has obviously taken a great deal of effort to make sure that what they do points well to the source of the music they play and they interpret the styles represented on the album with finesse and respect. I found myself enjoying the rhythmic treatment on this CD. Piano accordion, upright bass, percussion/drums and other melody instruments all contribute at various times to the strong rhythmic feel. What is also impressive is the the band member and principal composer. Karen Kyriakou who wrote all bar one of the tracks. Given the ‘feel’ of the music, this is a great achievement and demonstrates passion, commitment and respect. Well done Karen!! The only criticism I have is of the use of the ‘hidden track’. I would have rather this was left off. It tends to give the impression that the group perhaps was apologetic for their skill and wanted to cut themselves down to size. No apologies needed KAZBAND, the album is meritorious and you can be justifiably proud.
I very much liked the arrangements on this album. The skill of the musicians is apparent from the first bar and holds firm through the whole CD. It’s a very tight production and there has obviously been a lot of thought in the pre-production phase, which is critical for a great outcome. There is a feeling of confidence and familiarity through the whole album. I was also impressed with the quality of the technical work on the CD. It sounds great and is a class recording which is very well supported by fine mixes and mastering.
This album feels like it is too short. Given that it is of average length, that can only mean that I enjoyed it! If you like something a little more exotic in your collection and don’t mind being left a little challenged by complex rhythms such as the 2-2-3-2-2 rhythm of a Kopanitsa (track 11) then this is a must have.
7 in stock (can be backordered)